On the monthly ‘Mann Ki Baat’ radio address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday raised, among other subjects, the issue of undeclared assets. He announced that people with undisclosed assets have an opportunity to declare them before September 30.
“We lose our peace by violating rules, why not give correct information about our income and assets to Govt?” he said in the radio address.
In signs that the government was serious about the issue, it put out advertisements in leading national dailies on Sunday requesting citizens to declare their undisclosed assets before September 30, 2016, starting from June 1, 2016.
The declaration can be filed online or in print form to the jurisdictional Commissioner of Income-tax.
The scheme promises immunity by exempting declared assets from Wealth Tax, scrutiny/enquiry and prosecution under Income-tax Act/Wealth-tax act, and immunity from Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.
The Prime Minister also said that declaring assets will help citizens avoid difficulties which they might face after September 30.
“The country’s population is 125 crore and only 1.5 lakh people have taxable income above 50 lakh rupees,” he said.
In the address, PM Modi talked about his meeting with Chandrakant Kulkarni, a retired government employee, who is “giving almost a third of his pension for Swachh Bharat”.
“In a country where a government employee donates Rs 5000 every month out of his monthly pension of Rs 16000, nobody has a right to evade taxes. He should be an inspiration,” he was quoted saying by ANI.
In 2014 months after being sworn to power, the government had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into undisclosed and overseas assets. In May, the government unearthed tax evasion of around Rs 50,000 crore of indirect taxes and undisclosed income of Rs 21,000 crore through a series of measures implemented on advice of SIT in the past two years.